Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Losing Track of Time



Is it really Wednesday already? Oh my. I do apologize for being late with my post.

Today's post was going to be how almost everything I learned about sex was what I learned from reading a Harlequin romance.  But that post can wait until next time.

Instead, I'm going to write about time management. Ironic considering I lost sense of what day I needed to do post LOL. But time management is essential to managing a writing career, a family, a life.

When I got my first contract, I was thrilled. It was a dream come true. And then came the revision notes and the need to get it to my editor in a short amount of time. The same was true when I got my line revisions. I had a lot of work and limited time. To make my deadline, my family ate off paper plates and had takeout most nights. My husband did the laundry and housework so I could focus on editing my book to be the best possible.

The reality of a writing career is far different from my perception. I thought that a writing contract would mean I would know what I was doing when I sat down at the computer to write (umm... not so much). I thought that writing would be easy and fast. But the truth is, it's hard work and it takes a lot of time. Which means having to prioritize what is important.

My rules for time management:
1. Family doesn't come last, it comes first. Just because I have a deadline doesn't mean I can forget my family. Sure, they may be eating pizza and McDonalds most nights, but dinner time is family time.

2. Ask for help. My husband really stepped up to the plate when my time got limited. I couldn't have made it without him.

3. Learn to say no and mean it. Activities that weren't as important got pushed to the side temporarily. I told family and friends that I'd get together after the book got sent in.

4. Take some time for yourself. Even though my time was limited, I still need that five to ten minutes of downtime sitting and being still. Listening to music. Closing my eyes and imagining that I was sitting on a Hawaiian beach with a fruity drink in my hand. Those mini vacations helped me keep going. I still had to take care of myself. Otherwise, it wouldn't matter if I did make my deadline only to make myself sick.

5. There are no rules; only suggestions.

Anyone else have suggestions on how to manage time better when on deadline?

8 comments:

  1. Syndi - that's pretty much the way I operate. A little time outside (even 15 minutes works) to clear my head and commune with nature, tea at hand all the time makes me more efficient, make a plan for the day and try to stick to it, but don't beat myself up if I can't - there's always tomorrow. Nothing beats a helpful husband and paper plates!

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    1. It's amazing what taking a moment to relax can do for your body!

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  2. Wow, Syndi! You described my rules exactly- though I consider sleep my down time and if I can make it to bed by 11 for school the next day, that's plenty of time to dream :) Also, I squeeze in date nights with my husband so I can keep our romance alive and conduct a bit of - ahem- research :)

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    1. Date nights? What's that? LOL. I think the only date nights my husband and I get are holidays, anniversaries and birthdays LOL

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  3. Great post Syndi! I follow all of those as well, with the addition of Karen's date night-with one small difference-we have a date/work day at our favorite local pub lol. When my son is with his dad on either Sat or Sun, my husband and I go to the pub with our laptops and we have lunch, a glass of wine and sit in our favorite booth for five-six hours while our favorite wait staff bring endless amounts of coffee. We stop for kiss breaks every hour lol:) Sound structured? It is, but we love our time together, taking care of things that are important-his career and my writing.

    xo
    Jen

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  4. Syndi, I don't know how I missed reading your blog yesterday. I so agree with all you've said. I always need a walk to clear my head for the writing day.

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    1. Some times on the walks, I get ideas so I hurry back to write them LOL.

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